One week ago, I released a ranking of the top 10 players in Boston sports. I wanted to give Boston fans a chance to revise those rankings how they see fit. After 22 polls over 5 days, here’s the official fan voting results for the top 20 athletes in Boston sports.
The landscape of Boston sports looks much different than it did a year ago. Five All-Star level players have left town since last March and it’s time to reevaluate the hierarchy among players in New England. Considering all the great talent that has left, it’s remarkable how many great players remain in Boston. The number of difficult decisions and tough cuts that were present in putting this list together should give everyone hope for the future of Boston sports. Here are the 10 best current athletes in the region:
The Bruins swapped forwards to get more physical, dealing Danton Heinen to the Anaheim Ducks to acquire Nick Ritchie. Nick, whose brother Brett is already in the Bruins organization, is likely to join the team for their home tilt against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.
The Bruins and Don Sweeney have managed to trade David Backes to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Ondrej Kase. The deal also required the Bruins to part with a first round pick and 2018 2nd round pick Axel Andersson. The Bruins will also continue paying 25% of Backes’ salary.
Earlier this week, the faltering New Jersey Devils made the decision to deal former Hart Trophy winner, left winger Taylor Hall, to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a 2020 first round pick, a 2021 third round pick, forwards Nate Schnarr and Nick Merkley, and defenseman Kevin Bahl. It was reported that the Bruins were having initial discussions with the Devils to acquire Hall, but those talks ultimately never led to anything concrete regarding Hall. Other Devils players make more sense for the Bruins to acquire, but the price tag for the former MVP was too high for the Bruins to pay.
The Bruins have reached agreements with Chris Wagner and Charlie Coyle on long-term extensions. Both of their contracts were set to expire at the end of the 2019-2020 season.
The Bruins had a regular season that, while marked by injury and inconsistency, was still up to Boston’s mile-high standards. They ended with 107 points, actually 8 points lower than the less successful 2017-2018 season. Boston built on their incredible regular season with a remarkable and long playoff run eventually culminating in a game 7 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
By: Spencer Weeks
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NHL Top 100 Players Part 1: 100-76
NHL Top 100 Players Part 2: 75-51
NHL Top 100 Players Part 3: 50-26
The last part of the series shows the best 25 players in the league. This part is heavy on the Atlantic Division, as it features 5 members of the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3 from the Bruins and Maple Leafs, and 2 from the Panthers for a grand total of 13 out of 25. It also features 2 Capitals, Sharks, and Flames.
The third part of the list features the NHL players who are considered to be upper echelon talent but do not quite make it to superstar level.